Paxton/Patterson Blog

Helpful information about STEM education and CTE programs

ITEEA  awards Gilford High School Program Excellence Award

by Peter 15. April 2019 10:47


Program Excellence Winner


At the recent annual conference for the International Technology and Engineering Educator Association (ITEEA), the Program at Gilford High School was recognized as one of only 37 programs worldwide to earn the prestigious Program Excellence Award in 2019. Dan Caron received this award for the fourth time, at four different schools, over the last 25 years. Sponsored by the ITEEA and Paxton/Patterson, the Program Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to Technology and Engineering classroom programs on the elementary, middle or high school levels. It is presented in recogni-tion of outstanding contributions to the profession and students. Schools from all over the United States and around the world compete for this honor. Each year, the Program Excellence winners are recognized at the largest conference for Technology & Engineering Educators in the world. This year, the program at Gilford High School was recognized at the first general session of the conference where the award plaques and pins were presented.

Courtesy Gilford Steamer.

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Tags: college and career ready, STEM Learning Systems, school counselors

Got Grit? Contest Winners Fabricate Roller Caps

by Peter 12. December 2018 12:01

November Congrats Blog 

Owen and Carter, demonstrated that they've Got Grit

Got Grit? Contest winners, Owen and Carter, challenged themselves to fix the district poster making machine, with instructor, Josh Ames, at Central Junior High School. The team had to precisely measure and fabricate new roller caps. It took much trial and error, 3D printed parts failed and technical drawings had to be revised.

Have you Got Grit? Enter the contest.

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Tags: Got Grit? STEM education, college and career ready, STEM Learning Systems, school counselors

Got Grit? Self-Propelled Boat Engineer Does

by Peter 18. December 2017 08:27


Hunter Wright, demonstrated that he’s Got Grit

Hunter had to overcome many challenges while engineering a self-propelled boat, at South Lee High School, with instructor, Martin Bryant. His 3D printed design did not completely print and leaked. The boat would shift to the right and motor mount modifications were required. A custom switch was needed for consistent electrical connection and the boat was dramatically off balance during testing.

Have you Got Grit? Enter the contest.


Tags: Got Grit? STEM education, college and career ready, STEM Learning Systems, school counselors

CO2 Dragster 3D Challenge

by Peter 20. September 2016 08:28

Paxton/Patterson Learning

CO2 Dragster 3D Challenge

Why not take your next CO2 dragster project to the next level with an extreme challenge? Ask students to completely fabricate their cars with custom 3D printed designs. If your classroom doesn’t already have CAD software, there are basic free versions available online to create STL files – used for 3D printing.

Can You Create a Faster Dragster?

3D Printed CO2 Dragster

Students should begin with the size and shape of a CO2 cartridge. They will need to design a dragster that accurately holds the CO2 cartridge in place during the race. The rest of the rules are up to you. Is there a size requirement? Do they need to utilize four wheels? Do the wheels have to be 3D printed?

This real-world lesson can incorporate drafting, engineering, fabrication, the Laws of Motion and countless other useful skills.

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Tags: STEM Education, STEM Learning Systems, 3D Printing Dragsters, CO2 Dragster Competition

STEM Takes Language Arts to Mars

by Peter 23. August 2016 06:59

STEM and Language Arts?

Alien Animation

Paxton/Patterson is helping teachers incorporate Language Arts into STEM, with a project that is out of this world. In Computer Graphics and Animation, students create a stop motion animation to communicate an important message – like the dangers of texting while driving. In this example, two aliens are driving a Mars rover while distracted with a cell phone. They do not notice the cliff edge, the warning signs or the shark that is swimming in the water below the cliff. Did you know there are sharks on Mars? There are, if you let your imagination run wild. That’s one of the great benefits of this STEM Learning Systems activity. Students are encouraged to be creative and have fun while utilizing technology. It’s a wonderful blend of resources that allow teachers to cover a wide range of traditional subjects.

For more information about Computer Graphics and Animation please visit

Tags: STEM Education, STEM Learning Systems, STEM and Language Arts, student animation project, fun STEM Project